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February 6, 2008
Et Tu, Teddy?
When Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for president, it hit the Clinton camp in a personal way no other endorsement from any other politician could have. As this Boston Globe column makes clear, Kennedy stabbed the Clinton's in the back in one of the most shocking political betrayals in recent memory:
Back in 1994, Kennedy was suddenly and shockingly vulnerable to a challenge from a rich, smart Republican named Mitt Romney. On the defense in his first real political fight in decades, Kennedy wrapped himself "in President Clinton's mantle," the Globe reported in June 1994. Hillary also campaigned for Kennedy that year, saving the "Liberal Lion" from his own personal follies that included the humiliating rape trial of William Kennedy where the senator was a prominent witness. But when the chips were down for Hillary, Kennedy failed to return the favor:
"I am honored to stand with him, day after day, week after week, month after month, in our fight for jobs, economic justice, and progress on the great issues like health reform," Kennedy told delegates to that year's Democratic state convention. Both Clintons rushed to Kennedy's aid.
"There is not a single, solitary member of the US Senate more interested in new ideas than he is. In the most partisan atmosphere in modern history, he is absolutely the ablest member of the Congress at getting Republicans to vote with him and work with him to make this country a better place," President Clinton told Massachusetts voters.
Clinton backers vowed to battle for a state that Bill and Hillary Clinton vacationed in, raised millions in, and nurtured for years. Thus endeth the lesson...
Clinton headquarters buzzed with volunteers the day before the primary vote. "We'll do everything we can to deliver Massachusetts. Bill and Hillary Clinton never forgot this state," said Boston City Council President Maureen E. Feeney. Added House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi: "There are show horses and workhorses. We're the workhorses."
The workhorses beat the show horses. Clinton won.
HT: Ed Lasky